Government queries approval of controversial plan to build 180 homes on parkland

Government planners have called in a scheme to build 180 homes on Crystal Palace Park as part of a wider regeneration plan designed to return the park to its former glory.

The proposals, being promoted by the London Development Agency (LDA), were approved by local planners and the mayor in recent months. However, the Government Office for London has now said it wants to consider whether the application should go ahead.

Boris Johnson
Credit: Thomas Roche
Johnson: scheme "will set a precedent likely to threaten the future of public parks throughout the country"

The plans are hugely controversial among local people, as they involve turning over the so-called Norwood Triangle at one end of the park to new housing. The LDA argues that the development would fund improvements to the park, including replacing the now defunct National Sports Centre, which closed in 2003.

Darren Johnson, Green member of the London Assembly, presented an 8,000-signature petition against the development to the mayor on behalf of local residents in 2006.

Johnson said that the selling of land within Crystal Palace Park for “private luxury flats” was “unacceptable”. He said: “The government is right to question it. Not only is it counter to the strength of local feeling but will set a precedent that is likely to threaten the future of public parks and other open spaces throughout the country.”

German landscape architect Latz & Partner is the designer of the scheme.